BY MIKE C
Everything goes — and works — in Kathleen Marshall’s energetic no expense spared staging of the Cole Porter Roaring Twenties classic.
As a first dip of the toe back into musicals following theatre’s prolonged lockdown, what more could you want than this?
Set, sound and stars combine gloriously for a rollicking night on the ocean wave. The smash hits — I Get A Kick Out Of You, You’re The Top, It’s De-Lovely, Blow Gabriel Blow — will blow you away, fine-tuned and choreographed to the nines as they are. But the less well known numbers are staged with just as much humour and added pathos — All Through The Night and Easy To Love as standouts.
With firepower of the calibre of Robert Lindsay and Felicity Kendall, who bring fun and authority to Moonface Martin and Mrs Evangeline Harcourt, it was tempting to think they might act everyone else off the stage. But this is an ensemble piece par excellence and the entire cast chew up the scenery with gay abandon.
Sutton Foster proves that bringing her over from Broadway for her West End debut was well worth it as her song, dance and repartee as Reno Sweeney are flawless. Special mentions also for Samuel Edwards’ Billy Crocker, brimming with sexy eagerness, and Carly Mercedes Dyer, whose Erma positively crackles with squeeze and tease.
You can see the Barbican crowd wants to love this so bad — we’ve been deprived of a big, blowsy spectacle for way too long — that they’d have applauded the ship’s funnel. No need, though — this is everything you could want from a West End show and more — delightful, delicious, de-lovely!
Anything Goes at Barbican, £25-150, extended until 31 October ★★★★☆
Last Updated 06 August 2021